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The paper deals with a variational approach of the subRiemannian geometry from the point of view of Hamilton-Jacobi and Hamiltonian formalism. We present a discussion of geodesics from the point of view of both formalisms, and prove that the normal geodesics are locally length-minimizing horizontal curves.
The Wess-Zumino-Witten term was first introduced in the low energy σ-model which describes pions, the Goldstone bosons for the broken flavor symmetry in quantum chromodynamics. We introduce a new definition of this term in arbitrary gravitational backgrounds. It matches several features of the fundamental gauge theory, including the presence of fermionic states and the anomaly of the flavor symmetry. To achieve this matching, we use a certain generalized differential cohomology theory. We also prove a formula for the determinant line bundle of special families of Dirac operators on 4-manifolds in terms of this cohomology theory. One consequence is that there are no global anomalies in the Standard Model (in arbitrary gravitational backgrounds).